Renault launched the Kwid way back in 2015 in India. It was largely a game-changing product from the French manufacturer, especially in India targeting the entry-level market. It sold very well for almost a year, but like all popular models, the sales marginally declined because of its small capacity 800cc engine and fading of the novelty factor. The company was smart enough to update the car immediately with an all-new 1.0L engine which gave the car a new lease of life. Late 2017, Renault added the AMT gearbox to keep the potential buyers interested in their smallest offering. This year (2018) once again Renault made a few changes to the Kwid. Let’s find out how interesting these updates really are.
Though the car might look almost similar to the previous iterations, Renault has definitely made some significant updates. The Kwid retains its quirky, yet popular styling, but its top end RxT variant gets the updated grille which now comes with new chrome elements giving the car a slightly upmarket look. The headlamp assembly, front bumper, and the fog lamps are the bits which remain largely unchanged. Coming to the side, the 2018 Kwid does look a bit fresh, thanks to the minor updates. The outside rearview mirrors now come in a contrasting silver coloured housing and the matching silver wheel caps complete the contrasting look.
Renault now also offers the moonlight silver body colour option which alone gets the glossy black mirror sets and black wheel caps that add a bit of contrast. The checkered flag decal which came with the 1.0L lettering to signify the cars 1-liter engine is now gone to make way for the simple Kwid branding on the side cladding. The rear of the 2018 Kwid remains completely the same as the previous models. What’s new is the neatly integrated reversing camera hidden within the Renault lozenge logo, a neat touch we must admit.
Just like the exteriors, the interiors of the 2018 Kwid remain largely unchanged with a few bits getting the rightful share of updates. The 2018 Kwid continues to be the only car in its segment to get a touchscreen infotainment system. It now gets updated with media and navigation functions and also displays what’s behind when the reverse gear is engaged. The back of the car now gets a charging socket, right below the left C-pillar similar to the one on the Duster.
To boost the safety of passengers sitting behind, the seatbelts now come equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters as standard. The top of the line Climber edition also gets a foldable center armrest. Overall, the interiors of the car remain spacious, sporty and functional with smart and useful touches.
The 2018 Kwid continues to get the 5-speed AMT system which was launched way back in 2017. The coolest thing about the AMT system has to be the rotary knob, (gear-selector) which remains to be exclusive to the Kwid at this price point. However, unlike the pre-facelift, this particular model now gets the crawl function (commonly known as creep) as well. Renault calls it as the traffic assist system and rightly so, it does the job flawlessly and helps the car move almost instantly at the speed of 5-6kph as soon as you move your foot from the brake pedal.
The 5-speed AMT comes mated to the same 1-litre engine which produces 67bhp @ 5500rpm and churns out a decent 91nm of torque @ 4250rpm. All the other mechanical bits remains largely unchanged and there are no significant changes in the driving dynamics either. Don’t be fooled by the dimensions of the Kwid, the ride quality remains its strongest point and is outstanding, to say the least, and continues to surprise us.
The 2018 Kwid remains our choice amongst all the small cars available in the segment. With a starting price of Rs. 2.66/- lakhs, ex-showroom for the 799cc 3-cylinder petrol motor with 5-speed manual transmission, all the way up to Rs. 4.59/- lakhs for the 5-speed AMT/ Manual transmission, the 2018 Kwid remains one of the better and cheapest cars to own.